ECan failing to check majority of risky environmental activities

The Green Party says the Environment Canterbury Regional Council is failing in its role to protect Canterbury’s rivers and the natural environment, following the release of new information showing it didn’t bother to monitor over 80 percent of the resource consents it was meant to.

The Green Party says the Environment Canterbury Regional Council is failing in its role to protect Canterbury’s rivers and the natural environment, following the release of new information showing it didn’t bother to monitor over 80 percent of the resource consents it was meant to.

 

New Ministry for the Environment data, analysed by the Green Party, shows that Environment Canterbury (ECan) was expected to monitor over 20,000 consents in 2014/15, but only monitored 3200. Of the consents actually monitored, were more than half were found to not be complying with their conditions.

 

Other regional councils are much more stringent, such as Bay of Plenty which monitors 70 percent of the resource consents they are required to monitor.

 

"Canterbury is fast becoming a Wild West, with too many environmentally risky activities going unchecked by the council," said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

 

"With so many environmentally risky activities going unmonitored, the illegal taking of water in Canterbury could well be worse than what is currently reported.

 

“ECan’s relaxed approach to environmental monitoring and enforcement has seen numerous instances of stock being allowed into waterways, and is contributing to the long-term degradation of Canterbury rivers.

 

“Unsurprisingly, the percentage of monitored Canterbury river sites which are safe for swimming has declined from 74 percent in 2009/10 to 67 percent in 2013/14.

 

"Our rivers can't afford to have a Council that doesn't stay on top of illegal taking of water, and other polluting activities. Cantabrians deserve better," said Ms Sage.

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